Montreal's Grande Bibliothèque grapples with bed bug invasion

The library has replaced soft armchairs with hard plastic while working to control the infestation.

Library has replaced soft armchairs with hard plastic while working to control infestation

Users should keep an eye out for little brown bed bugs when checking out items from the library. (CBC)

Quebec's Grande Bibliothèque on De Maisonneuve Boulevard in Montreal is dealing with a bed bug problem, forced to take temporary measures to protect visitors from taking home any uninvited guests.

Staff at the Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ), as it's officially called, removed fabric lounge chairs and replaced them with plastic seats Tuesday morning.

They also closed certain areas of the building as they deal with the flat brown bugs that are notoriously easy to spread — and notoriously hard to get rid of.

The library has swapped out comfy fabric chairs for the hard plastic variety until the problem is dealt with. (CBC)

The library's director, Danielle Chagnon, told CBC News it's a tough problem to keep on top of.

"We do receive about 7,000 to 8,000 people per day so, of course, you have people carrying things in their bags and maybe on their clothes."

Chagnon says it's normal for library staff to find the occasional bed bug in a book or DVD, but this time they discovered an unusually high number in the upholstered chairs where people sit and unwind.

Here is a look at a typical adult bed bug: about 4.5 mm long and reddish-brown, with an oval-shaped, flattish body. (Carolyn Kaster/The Associated Press)

Library users say that while the thought of the little pests crawling around the stacks is unpleasant, it won't keep them away.

"I'm not worried about it. [I] close my bags and just don't leave things lying on the floor," said Jean-Paul Cormier.

The BAnQ says it's working with exterminators to eliminate the bed bug infestation, but library users may want to double-check their documents and garments before taking them home.

With files from CBC's Simon Nakonechny